Today riders embarked on the first day of this incredible seven day adventure across Provence, starting the three hundred kilometer journey from Basecamp in Rochebrune this morning, to Clamensane and camp two for the night, a ride that will finally see them finish in Monaco seven days from now.
Three timed stages made up today's racing. After a big climb to start the day, Special Stage 1 started the race proper. In terms of fitness it's probably one of the hardest of the week, being more cross-country in nature and with a nasty vertical kick in the middle - but still interspersed with the steep and technical downhills that Trans- Provence has become famed for!
A short liaison stage led to Special Stage 2. After the up and down nature of stage one, stage two was down and more down! Starting in woods and exploding into a section of open scrubland with rock steps around every corner, and finally finishing with ever tightening switchbacks interspersed with perfect eight inch singletrack all the way to the valley floor.
One more big pull from the valley floor up the last hill of the day found racers at the start of Special Stage 3. Big sweeping switchbacks and perfect loam made for slip and drift corner to corner riding, a natural earth luge from top to bottom finished a great start of the great week to come.
All Pictures Courtesy of Michiel Rotgans and Irmo Keizer.Results for all three stages in total today.
Nico Vouilloz 28:19
Mark Weir 28:48
Jerome Clementz 28:57
Matt Ryan 29:09
Ben Cruz 30:02
Marc Beaumont 30:15
Fabien Barel 30:34
Andreas Hestler 31:29
Steve Jones (!) 31:44
Rowan Sorrell 32:22
Keep your eyes peeled,there's plenty more tomorrow.http://www.trans-provence.com
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